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Site of the medieval village of Astwick and the moated site 1500yds (1370m) south west of Evenley village

A Scheduled Monument in Evenley, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.0027 / 52°0'9"N

Longitude: -1.1715 / 1°10'17"W

OS Eastings: 456972.359211

OS Northings: 234124.835636

OS Grid: SP569341

Mapcode National: GBR 8W4.JMV

Mapcode Global: VHCWJ.NX1N

Entry Name: Site of the medieval village of Astwick and the moated site 1500yds (1370m) SW of Evenley village

Scheduled Date: 30 May 1951

Last Amended: 20 May 2014

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002898

English Heritage Legacy ID: NN 43

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Evenley

Built-Up Area: Croughton

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Evenley St George

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


Medieval settlement and moated enclosure at Astwick.

Source: Historic England


The medieval village of Astwick lies in the parish of Evenley to the north of Astwick farm. The scheduled area includes the moated site at Astwick, formerly the site of the manor house, which is contiguous with the village site lying to the south-west of the moat. At the time of the assessment in 2013, the village remains and the ridge and furrow were under permanent pasture. The moated site was covered with scrub vegetation.

The surviving earthworks of the village cover a wide area measuring approximately 450m x 150m and are at present under pasture. The site is bounded on the east side by a hedge, by a stream to the north and north-west and by a pronounced, near continuous sequence of banks and ditches on the west side. The southern boundary of the settlement is defined by a ditch aligned east-west, to the south of which medieval ridge and furrow survives.

The distribution of the settlement earthworks indicates that the village had a broadly L-shaped plan. The RCHME survey suggests at least two phases of occupation, thus there is the potential for buried deposits from different periods of the settlement's history to survive on the site. A later phase of settlement comprised two hollow ways, the principal of which enters the site from the south and for the first 200m or so follows that of the earlier phase. It passes to the east of the earthwork of a large pond and then branches to the north-west, evident as a pronounced and well-preserved, broad and banked feature between 4m and 12m wide, cutting through some of the earlier tofts and crofts, before heading west over the stream. The second main hollow way branches from the first just east of the stream and curves eastwards toward the moat; it is approximately 3m wide and 1 m deep. Many well-preserved building platforms (tofts) and crofts (gardens) remain defined by banks and ditches on the north and south sides of the hollow way, some apparently arranged around courtyards. At the time of the RCHME survey, rubble walls of some of the houses remained exposed here; thus the potential for good preservation of buried archaeological features is high. Other tracks and roads run from the main thoroughfares of the village. Later phases of broad ridge and furrow, probably late-medieval in date, overlie substantial crofts delineated by ditches in the central and southern part of the area of interest, implying that phases of shrinkage occurred during the occupation history of the village. The stone foundation walls of the farm buildings on the site of ‘Old Town Hovel’ are clearly evident at approximately grid ref. SP57033405.

The scheduled moat is sub-triangular in form and measures 159m east-west by 103m north-south. Ditches measuring between 12 and 16m wide enclose the central platform measuring 105m by 60m, and are fed by the watercourse which defines its western boundary, and the northern boundary of the village site. There is no evidence of a building on the central platform, but the potential for the remains of the manor house to be preserved there are high as is environmental data in the ditches of the moat which may provide information on the settlement of the site and the local economy during the medieval period.

The village earthworks are bounded on the east side by a post and wire fence and by a banked stream to the north, north-west and west. The southern boundary of the settlement is defined by a ditch aligned east-west, to the south of which medieval ridge and furrow survives, which is included in the monument and bounded to the south by a post and wire fence. Contiguous with the north-east corner of the village is the moated manorial site, defined by tree-lined banks. All modern tracks, posts, fences, gates and animal troughs are excluded from the monument although the ground beneath them is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The moat and medieval village site at Astwick, near Brackley, Northamptonshire, is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: for the exceptional earthworks and waterlogged deposits depicting the form and plan of the settlement and moated manorial site;
* Potential: for the stratified archaeological deposits which retain considerable potential to increase our understanding of the physical characteristics of the buildings and settlement. Buried artefacts will also have the potential to increase our knowledge and understanding of the social and economic functioning of the settlement within the wider medieval landscape;
* Documentation: for the high level of historical and archaeological documentation pertaining to the settlement’s evolution;
* Group value: the close historical and functional relationship between these two key elements of the medieval settlement enhances the national importance of the site;
* Diversity: for the range and complexity of features such as building platforms, crofts, trackways and the moated platform which, taken as a whole, provide a clear plan of the settlement and retain significant stratified deposits which serve to provide details of the continuity and change in the evolution of the settlement and status of its inhabitants.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Allison, K J, Beresford, M W, Hurst, J G, The Deserted Villages of Northamptonshire, (1966)
Astill, G, Grant, A, The Countryside of Medieval England, (1988)
Aston, M, Austin, D, Dyer, C(eds), The Rural Settlements of Medieval England: Studies dedicated to Maurice Beresford and John Hurst, (1989)
Christie, N, Stamper, P (eds), Medieval Rural Settlement: Britain and Ireland AD 800-1600, (2012)
Dyer, C, Jones, R, Deserted Villages Revisited, (2010)
Hall, D, Turning the Plough. Midland Open Fields;landscape character and proposals for management, (2001)
Partida, T, Hall, D, Foard, G, An Atlas of Northamptonshire The Medieval and Early-Modern Landscape, (2013)
Roberts, B K, Wrathmell, S, An Atlas of Rural Settlement in England, (2003)
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological sites of Northamptonshire, Volume III
Williamson, T., Partida, T, Champion. The Making and Unmaking of the English Midland Landscape, (2013)
Northamptonshire Historic Environment Record (HER),

Source: Historic England

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